Drakelow Sightings report by Tom Cockburn

The National Wildfowl Count, carried out on the 17th, produced an excellent count of 95 Shovelers and 52 Tufted Ducks

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Tuesday 19th February 0930 – 1415. Weather wise this was a mainly cloudy day with a SW wind that was somewhat cold and sufficiently strong enough to disperse the seeds of the Great Reed Mace across the reserve – as if there isn’t enough on site already!. From the birder’s point of view there was little to shout about but a pair of Shelduck and a couple of male Stonechats did brighten up the visit. Other ducks included five Goldeneyes (two displaying males) and Shovelers numbered 83 with the bulk in the Main Lagoon. Apparently occupied nests of Herons and Cormorants were counted over the week-end with 22 of the former and 37 of the latter logged. A Cormorant roost count was carried out on the 16th with 246 birds counted in. This was a sizeable drop on the previous count of 379 carried out a week earlier. Once again the drop was attributed to the lack of birds arriving from a northerly or easterly directions. The National Wildfowl Count, carried out on the 17th, produced an excellent count of 95 Shovelers and 52 Tufted Ducks with most of the other numbers depressed. Earlier in that week a Red Kite was logged on the 14th and on the same date Snipe numbered 16 on the Strip. Some movement of birds was evident on the 17th when there was a visitation by no less than six male Stonechats - so it will be worth keeping an eye on the solar farm fence as you drive in. Thanks are due to the many visitors who observed the path closures so that the Cormorant and wildfowl counts could be carried out on the 16th and 17th without disturbance. Thanks are also due to AG, KS, PJ, IB, AL, RW, KW, AB, DH, RRP, J.McM and H.McM.